Ahead of Wednesday’s holiday for the Chung Yeung Festival, the Hong Kong stock market had bounced higher again – one session after halting the three-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 620 points or 2.4 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 25,460-point plateau and it may add to its winnings Thursday as it catches up on missed positive sentiment. The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation thanks to a sharp drop in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. marketsRead More
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Bursa Malaysia opened higher today, lifted by the overnight rebound on Wall Street, dealers said. At 9.15am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 3.01 points higher at 1,739.85 from 1,736.84 yesterday. The…
KUCHING: It appears that even after four and a half months, the spirit of Malaysia Baru continues to resonate among Malaysians, as reflected in the continuing uptick of positive sentiment for the local property sector. The PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Survey, Malaysia’s leading indicator in gauging the pulse of consumers and their appetite for properties has […]
KUCHING: Statistics from the latest RAM Business Confidence Index (RAM BCI) for the fourth quarter of 2018 (4Q18) and the first quarter of 2019 indicate a slight moderation in firms’ sentiment on their business performance and demand prospects in the next six months. The Corporate Index reached 55.7 while the SME Index came in at […]
PETALING JAYA: Ratings Agency Malaysia (RAM) has released the results of its latest RAM Business Confidence Index readings for fourth quarter 2018- first quarter 2019, which indicate that firms remain optimistic going into 2019.
Although still in positive sentiment territory, the corporate index declined 1.1 points from the 3Q-4Q 2018 survey, it said in a statement.
RAM said the corporate index reached 55.7 while the small and medium enterprise (SME) index came in at 53.5, in which the latter showed improvement but still lagged behind its corporate counterpart.
“This signals the slight moderation in firms’ sentiment on their business performance and demand prospects in the next six months,” it added.
Released quarterly, the index is based on data from a survey of close to 3,500 SMEs and corporates across five main industry segments respectively.
Additionally, RAM said the latest survey results also show that firms with more exposure to the ongoing trade spat between the US and China are now less optimistic.
RAM noted that the export-oriented corporate index has been declining since 2017, in which the trend is consistent with the slower export growth observed to date, following the rebound last year.
“Given the forward-looking nature of the survey responses, we do not expect export growth to pick up in the near term, although growth should remain sturdy given the still-positive reading of 57.6.
“The external downside risk pressures have also weakened the sentiment of the manufacturing corporates and SMEs,” RAM said.
Apart from the external outlook, RAM said that manufacturers are also undergoing a transitional period on account of the reinstatement of the sales and services tax (SST).
“This affects their expectations on future demand and profitability; the corporate turnover and profitability sub-indices dipped a respective 9.9 points and 10.3 points to 50.8 and 49.5 while those for SMEs fell 1.7 points and 2.3 points to 52.0 and 51.6,” it added.
“This tax impact is not only confined to the manufacturing sector as the margins of the wholesale sector, which serves as a bridge between manufacturers and retailers, may also be compressed by the potential pass-through of additional SST expenses by manufacturers,” it added.
On a brighter note, RAM said that transport and storage firms’ sentiment on business performance remained strong, with the overall sentiment reading for transport and storage corporates rising 1.9 points to 62.1 – the only corporate sector to post an increase.
Its SME counterpart also improved 1.8 points to 55.1, as sentiment on turnover and profitability became positive.
RAM said the more upbeat outlook on this sector is mainly attributable to logistics, shipping and oil tanker services (particularly oil and gas support services), which are enjoying healthier business prospects amid strong oil prices.
Moving forward, it said short-term economic uncertainties remain, most notably from the repercussions of the ongoing US-China trade war on the manufacturing sector, and the ensuing second-round effect on the domestic sectors.
Therefore, it said more guidance on future economic policies that will shape the overall business environment will be crucial to business confidence among firms, and will help drive sustainable economic activities.
LONDON, Sept 11 — The euro’s bounce fizzled today as a broad dip in investor appetite for risk dragged the single currency lower, offsetting recent positive sentiment towards Italian government debt before a central bank meeting later this week….
KUCHING: The Malaysia consumer confidence index continued its surge in the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18) to 117 percentage points (pp), up 13 points from the previous quarter and up 23 points versus 2Q17, according to The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, in collaboration with Nielsen. This is the highest recorded confidence score in […]
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is likely to trade sideways with a downside bias against the US dollar next week, a dealer said.
MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Chief Economist Dr Kamaruddin Mohd Nor said the ringgit movement was influenced by the strengthening US dollar amid the US-China trade tensions over the past few months.
“Nevertheless, we expect the ringgit to have a breather next week with a target trading range of between 4.08 and 4.10.
“Positive sentiment brought about by the new deals surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement, favourable commodity prices, and expectation of good external trade numbers which is due next week could lend support for the local currency,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, Oanda Head of Trading Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said the ringgit remained in buy on dips mode as most of the speculative action was dollar buying.
“The traders stay on sidelines ahead of the Bank Negara Malaysia's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Sept 5, awaiting market direction. A dovish MPC statement could see a knee-jerk demand for greenback,” he said.
On a Thursday-to-Friday basis, the local note fell to 4.1080/1110 against the greenback from 4.1070/1100 last week.
Against other major currencies, the ringgit traded mostly lower, except against the Japanese yen, where it rose to 3.6820/6863 from 3.6851/6887 last week.
It declined against the Singapore dollar to 3.0073/1100 from 2.9950/9980, fell against the British pound to 5.3462/3525 from 5.2668/2723 and was lower against the euro at 4.8055/8099 from 4.7502/7553.
The market was closed yesterday for the Merdeka Day celebration. — Bernama